Good practices

Folklore of the ethnic groups - Roma folklore

Folklore of the ethnic groups - Roma folklore

The programme is being implemented since 2002 by the Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance “Amalipe” with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science, the Open Society Institute and other foundations and institutions.

The purpose of introducing the subject “Ethnic Folklore in Bulgaria – Roma Folklore” is to create an effective model for educating ethnic tolerance, pride and friendship, as well as for attracting and retaining children at school through studying Roma folklore. The goals of the programme are related to the formation of academic, pedagogical and communication competence in the pedagogical specialists, including the development of skills for:

  • applying methods for work in a multicultural environment
  • knowledge of the specific needs of the students
  • ability to plan activities for individual work and support
  • encouraging the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes for success, independent living, interpersonal and intercultural communication
  • using appropriate methods, tools and approaches to promote progress and results achieved by the students
  • motivating the students to participate in the planned activities
  • promoting a spirit of tolerance and forming a civic position
  • knowledge and skills to work in a heterogeneous environment and to support social integration
  • applying techniques for prevention and coping in conflict situations
  • selecting methods and approaches oriented at the formation of empathy, commitment, solidarity, consideration of personal and value differences between people as a basis for mutual understanding
  • involving parents in achieving educational goals

Year(s): 2002 – ongoing

Target group(s): Teachers, directors, deputy principals, pedagogical counsellors, psychologists, Dormitory educators, tutors, choreographers, coaches, parents, young Roma

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In order to ensure conditions for a quality learning process, before the start of the school year, Amalipe Center organises training with teachers teaching Roma folklore. They are acquainted with the most important moments in the history of the Roma, the intragroup division within the Roma community, as well as the most important features of Roma folklore. Accent is placed on practical issues such as how to form a heterogeneous group, how to attract Bulgarian and Roma children with preferential Turkish consciousness, how to include interactive methods in the educational process, etc.

Formed groups conduct classes throughout the school year – two hours a week. The basic principle that Amalipe Center adheres to in the teaching process of Ethnic Folklore in Bulgaria – Roma Folklore is that the lessons should not become traditional reading or music lessons, but that students’ interest and activity be kept awake. Using interactive methods, many fun games, extracurricular activities (such as broadcasting, celebrations with parents, ethnic evenings, attending an authentic celebration, etc.) are the main ways to achieve this.The methods used include brainstorming on basic concepts; presentations commenting on working concepts - Roma, Roma history, Roma groups, interculturalism, presentation of good practices, solving tasks and cases, simulations and role-playing games; self-assessment of the acquired knowledge and skills during the training, etc. The methods used follow the principles of intercultural sensitivity, there are no "right-wrong answers" and no single interpretations, the teacher's efforts are respected and upgraded.

Type of product

Course / Training

Brief description of the outcomes

The training is realised in four main modules with a total duration of 32 academic hours.

  • First module - 8 hours(Theoretical part - 4 hours; Practical part - 4 hours). It is aimed at:

-          Introduction to the history of the Roma;

-          Presentation of the main Roma groups with an emphasis on educational attitudes;

-          Presentation of the main elements of the folklore and culture of the Roma

  • Second module - 8 hours(Theoretical part - 4 hours; Practical part - 4 hours). It includes:

- Presentation of pedagogical materials, methods and techniques with emphasis on interactive methods and techniques;

- Getting acquainted with the available Internet and electronic resources

  • Third module- 8 hours (Theoretical part - 3 hours; Practical - 5 hours. It includes:

-  Guidelines for involving parents and organising accompanying activities for recording folklore and personal stories

  • Fourth module - 8 hours(Theoretical part - 3 hours; Practical - 5 hours. It includes:

-  Complete change of the learning environment, creation of own space, creation of a museum of ethnic groups

The programme prepares teachers to teach and organise classes in Folklore of ethnic groups at all stages in various forms - such as optional training, advanced training, extracurricular activities, within the all-day organisation and others.

Guidelines for teachers working with Roma students (in Bulgarian):

Impact on target groups / Transferability potential

The “Ethnic Folklore in Bulgaria – Roma Folklore” has the following impact targets:

  • Attracting and retaining Roma children at school. Introducing Roma folklore into the curriculum is a chance to change this by showing the Roma (children, but also their parents) that the school is a great place for everyone. Seeing some of their traditions in the classroom and in the textbooks, the Roma child will stop feeling the schools as an “alien”.
  • Promoting the formation of ethnic tolerance and solidarity in all children. Studying the “Ethnic Folklore in Bulgaria – Roma Folklore” classes will provide an opportunity for Bulgarian and Turkish children to get to know the rich Roma folklore world, to see thе similarities between Roma folklore and folklore of other ethnicities, etc. This will allow to children to overcome their prejudices. Studying Roma folklore will help all children to understand the importance of common elements in the traditions and culture of different ethnicities in Bulgaria and will strengthen in them a sense of belonging to the Bulgarian nation.
  • Enabling real introduction of multicultural elements into the curriculum of primary schools in Bulgaria. The subject “Ethnic Folklore in Bulgaria – Roma Folklore” is intended to fill the existing gap of information on minorities – at least in relation to the Roma.

The “Ethnic Folklore in Bulgaria – Roma Folklore” is currently being studied in over 200 schools across the country.

Promoter of the initiative: AMALIPE Centre for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance

Country: Bulgaria

Languages available: Bulgarian

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